Santa Claus is making an early stop in Dublin this year for the city's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Santa Claus is making an early stop in Dublin this year for the city's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The event will start at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at a temporary location, to the east of Indian Run Elementary, 62 W. Bridge St. The change is due to construction of BriHi Square at the corner of Bridge and High streets.

The new tree, a 45-foot blue spruce, is more than double the size of the old tree. It will be decorated with green lights, white icicles, 75 balls and bells, and 75 ribbons, said Buddy Caplinger, events administrator.

New to this year's display is a fiberglass family of carolers and their dog. The city will decorate the historic district in traditional fashion with lighted wreaths, garlands and snowflake decorations, Caplinger said. All decorations, with the exception of the tree, are to be lit Dec. 1.

The Dublin Singers will sing until Santa arrives on a Washington Township fire truck.

"The actual lighting of the tree is probably the best part, for the kids and families to see how grandiose it is," Caplinger said.

Santa will be joined by Mayor Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher, interim city manager Marsha Grigsby and other dignitaries for the official tree lighting at 6:30 p.m.

Santa then will make his way to the Sisters Sweet Shoppe, 45 N. High St., to take photos with children.

The Historic Dublin Business Association will kick off its holiday celebration that night, offering free hot chocolate and coffee to kids and parents.

The Sisters Sweet Shoppe will open its warehouse, decorated as a winter wonderland, to host a gingerbread showcase, said Tim Picciano, president of the HDBA. The houses, designed by students from the three Dublin high schools, will be auctioned with the proceeds donated to charities picked by the students.

More holiday celebrations will be held Saturday, Dec. 6. All historic district shops will be open from noon to 4 p.m., offering special holiday promotions.

The fifth annual chili cook-off will be held at the Dublin Village Tavern, 27 S. High St.; La Chatelaine, 65 W. Bridge St.; and Brazenhead, 56 N. High St.

For $5, people can taste chili from all nine contestants and vote for the best. The final judging will be held at 3:20 p.m. at Brazenhead.

For more information, go to www.brihidistrict.org.

bdunlap@thisweeknews.com